Employers Can Bargain Down Health Care Prices
Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2896) 5 years ago
Montana's Marilyn Bartlett Took on the Insurance Industry Over Cost of Employee Health Care and Won!

"A Tough Negotiator Proves Employers Can Bargain Down Health Care Prices" npr.org/morning edition, October 2, 2018


"Marilyn Bartlett took a deep breath, drew herself up to her full 5 feet and a smidge, and told the assembled handful of Montana officials that she had a radical strategy to bail out the state's foundering benefit plan for its 30,000 employees and their families.

The officials were listening. Their health plan was going broke, with losses that could top $50 million in just a few years. It needed a savior, but none of the applicants to be its new administrator had wowed them.

Now here was a self-described pushy 64-year-old grandmother interviewing for the job.

Bartlett came with some unique qualifications. She'd just spent 13 years on the insurance industry side, first as a controller for a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, then as the chief financial officer for a company that administered benefits. She was a potent combination of irreverent and nerdy, a certified public accountant whose Smart car's license plate reads "DR CR," the Latin abbreviations for "debit" and "credit."

Most importantly, Bartlett understood something the state officials didn't: the side deals, kickbacks and lucrative clauses that industry players secretly build into medical costs. Everyone, she'd observed, was profiting except the employers and workers paying the tab. . . . ."

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Posted by Mary Catherine Dunphy (+2896) 5 years ago
"New Insurance May Not Cover What You Think It Does" npr.org/morning edition, October 1, 2018

"People can soon buy health insurance that may be cheaper than Obamacare. It however is not required to cover as many medical services and is exempt from covering people with pre-existing conditions."